Thursday, May 28, 2015

In which people discuss things I don't understand.

The discussion is certainly not boring.

  • Socialize Uber: It’s easier than you think.
    Given that the workers already own all the capital in the form of their cars, why aren’t they collecting all the profits? Worker cooperatives are difficult to start when there’s massive capital needed up front, or when it’s necessary to coordinate a lot of different types of workers. But, as we’ve already shown, that’s not the case with Uber. In fact, if any set of companies deserves to have its rentiers euthanized, it’s those of the “sharing economy,” in which management relies heavily on the individual ownership of capital, providing only coordination and branding.
  • How to Socialize Uber
    Uber promises investors it will soon be making mega-profits, but it also claims those profits just represent a return on its technology and risk-bearing. Certainly the money doesn’t come from exploiting Uber’s workers. What workers? No, no — you see, the drivers are merely Uber’s business partners, and you can’t exploit your business partner.
  • Once a sure bet, taxi medallions becoming unsellable
    In an April letter to creditors, New York taxi commission officials and other stakeholders, Freidman's attorney, Brett Berman, called on industry regulators and medallion lenders to restructure and extend loans for his client and reform the industry.
  • Billionaire hedge-fund manager says Uber told him it might cut driver pay ‘because we can'
    "'You've got happy employees, you've got happy customers, you've got happy shareholders. The holy triumvirate are all really excited about your company. Why are you going to risk that and push the employees salary down 5%?'"

    Callinicos simply responded "because we can."

  • Elizabeth Warren: No Need to Stop Uber-ized Workforce, but Must Invest in Education
    she returned to her argument, made several times during the interview, that the government’s position should pour more investment into education and infrastructure. “We have to invest in the two places where it works,” she said. “We have to invest in brains and people who are willing to do the long, long arc research.”
  • This lawyer fought for FedEx drivers and strippers. Now she's standing up for Uber drivers
    By using contractors instead of employees, companies are not responsible for things like payroll taxes, job expenses, anti-discrimination protections or overtime pay. For bootstrapped startups, it's a cost-saving measure that can mean life or death.

    But Liss-Riordan isn't drinking the same venture-capital bought kool-aid as the startups who have built businesses around the 1099 economy. Rather, she views it as another example of companies using contract workers as a way to skirt their obligations as an employers.

    "I don’t believe this industry needs to be built on a system whereby the workers don’t need to receive any of the protections that we have a society that workers need to receive," she said. "I just don’t know how Uber can argue with a straight face that as a $40 billion dollar company it can’t afford to insure its drivers, pay minimum wage or pay overtime, or be reimbursed for their expenses.

  • Uber Isn’t the Problem
    If drivers on the Uber platform had better options available to them, if there were jobs that offered them higher wages and better working conditions, they’d presumably have already taken them. That means that if you’re appalled by Uber, your real problem is with every other option that the drivers who use it have for earning a living—which is entirely fair. But despair over the fact that many American workers aren’t commanding the wages and working conditions we’d want for them in an ideal world doesn’t seem like a sound reason for shutting Uber down, or regulating it out of existence.

No comments:

Post a Comment